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Partial Adoption for Agile Approaches

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In a recent pool, the Methods & Tools newsletter asked the following question: At what stage is the agile approach (XP,Scrum, FDD, ...) adoption at your location?

Not aware 26%
Not using 16%
Investigating 14%
Analysed and rejected 3%
Pilot projects 4%
Partial implementation (adoption of some agile practices) 17%
Partial deployment (some projects are using this approach) 12%
Deployed (all new projects are using this approach) 8%

Participants: 232

There is a good balance between the three main situations of agile approaches' adoption (no, maybe, yes):
- around 40% of the participants' organisations are not using an agile approach or practice
- around 20% are investigating it or running pilot projects
- around 40% have adopted, fully or partially, an agile approach to software development.

The numbers on agile approach usage could be slightly biased. As Methods & Tools has published some articles on this topic in its recent issues, the proportion of agile practitioners in its readership and web sites visitors could be higher than in the "real world".

If you look at each question, you could be shocked that 26% of organisations are even not aware that something like an Agile movement have been active in the software development world these recent years. It is however a sad reality that some organisations are functioning in a "not invented here" mode. They think that their situation is "the best they can get" and they are not interested in what is happening "outside". It is also true that agility is people oriented and that most organisations have a tendency to be focused on process oriented activities. There is also a high number of respondents with partial implementation of agile practices. Even if some purists could argue that you cannot be 50% agile, this is another point showing that agility is reality oriented. You can rarely change completely and immediately a software development process.

Source: Methods & Tools (www.methodsandtools.com)
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Another challenge with this newsletter is that it may not be reaching some of the agilists within these organizations. I've seen several companies where an agile team has been flying under management's radar in order to succeed. In these companies if you talk to management they'll tell you they're not doing agile, talk to the developers and they'll tell you it's the only way that they can succeed.

- Scott
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